Big shake-up in the French retail world: Carrefour is having exclusive talks to purchase the majority of the Coop d’Alsace convenience stores. The transaction would fit CEO Georges Plassat’s idea to strengthen Carrefour’s position in its home market. Carrefour is particularly weak in the Elzas region.
“Carrefour offers best guarantees”
Coop d’Alsace was looking for a solution for these specific stores, as it was experiences too much competition from French and German chain stores, leading to its severe financial problems. At first, it was thought that competitor Casino, already supplying the chain, would pry away the Coop d’Alsace stores, but the discussions eventually led to nothing.
According to the board of directors at Coop d’Alsace, Carrefour is offering the best guarantees to assure employment, the retention of stores and the valorization of local products. Carrefour is willing to acquire more than 90 % of the 144 stores, employ more than 90 % of the 440 workers and create a solution for the stores that risk closure.
Carrefour under-represented in the East
The possible buyout is an opportunity for Carrefour to boost its meagre presence in the East of France. That is why Carrefour would like to rename the stores in the urban centres into Carrefour Market, Carrefour City or Carrefour Express. Rural stores will, at first, keep their current brand name.
Coop d’Alsace had previously sold its 22 supermarkets and 6 hypermarkets to E.Leclerc. When it sells its convenience stores, Coop d’Alsace is left with 4 cafeterias, a logistics centre and an industrial butchery. The latter will continue to supply the convenience stores and possibly other Carrefour stores in the East of France.
(translated by Gary Peeters)